Inspections - Neces-scary.
In a real estate transaction there is probably nothing more important, and yet also anxiety inducing for clients, than the inspection period. Whether the buyer or the seller, both principals to the transaction want a good report.
The inspection period for a real estate transaction in Portland is a window of time, typically within the first ten business days (2 weeks) of a transaction, wherein the buyer has the opportunity to have a professional home inspector go through the property with a fine-tooth comb, testing all the systems, surfaces, features, and appliances for proper functionality. In addition to the home inspection, additional inspections may be desirable.
In the Portland area, radon tests and sewer scopes are common additional inspections.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that exists in the soil and can become concentrated in homes and businesses. It is this concentration that creates the potential for dangerous adverse health effects. Testing for radon has become very common in Portland real estate transactions, especially for those homes with basement or below grade living areas. A radon test company will typically leave equipment in a property for a minimum of 48 hours. During this time the machine will record hourly radon measurements and produce an average radon measurement. If the average is above 4 pCi/L, it is recommended that the buyer consider a radon mitigation solution.
Sewer scopes are another additional inspection consideration for a buyer to make. With older homes especially, the sewer pipe that removes waste from a home can be made of a number of different materials, and over time these materials can break down, or the system can be corrupted by landscaping or other means. A sewer scope company will typically find a clean-out entrance point for them to send a fiber-optic camera through the line until it reaches the connection to the city’s sewer line. Occasionally, a sewer scope company may need to access the line through the vent pipe on the roof, or by removing a toilet. Fixing or replacing a sewer line can be a costly repair, so including a sewer scope in the inspections can provide peace of mind for the buyer that one of the most important systems in the house is working correctly.
Every property is different, and there are additional inspections to consider based on the specific property. Your realtor should be able to recommend the appropriate inspections based on the home you are buying.
The important thing to note with these inspections is that they are not pass/fail inspections. The inspector is not there to allow or disallow the transfer of the property. They are there to provide the buyer with information about the property that they typically are not going to be able to know by touring it with their realtor or at an open house. The reports that the inspectors provide are meant to provide specific information that the buyer can utilize in repair negotiations, or that they may refer to later, as they maintain their home.
Should a buyer determine that there are issues found in the home inspection period that are deal breakers, they have the opportunity to terminate the contract and receive their earnest money back. They also have the opportunity during the inspection period to request repairs from the seller. If the seller and buyer come to terms on repairs or other negotiations, the inspection contingency period is closed, and the buyer can no longer exercise that contingency to terminate the contract. The inspection contingency and repair negotiations period are one and the same, and a failure to come to an agreement by the end of the inspection period is automatically considered an end of the contingency period and the contract continues. It is imperative to get to an agreement or termination before time runs out at 5pm on the last day of the inspection contingency period.
If you are looking to purchase a home in the Portland area, we can direct you to the types of inspections we would recommend, based on the home, and also provide contact information for home inspectors that we trust to serve our clients.
If you are considering a sale, we would love to meet with you to discuss repairs and maintenance to perform to make sure your home is ready for a buyer's home inspection.
Just give us a call!